Supporting Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

AABANY is sharing the following information in response to the many inquiries we have received asking how to help her during this difficult time. 

The Manhattan Democratic Committee (for the first time ever) voted in August to withhold their support for an incumbent: Justice Doris Ling-Cohan.  

The MDC Screening Panel has since recognized that Justice Doris was not evaluated according to the rules that apply to incumbent judges.  As reported in the press, the process was inappropriately swayed by a selected few who had direct non-disclosed conflicts and special interests.

Pursuant to the applicable rules, Justice Doris can rejoin the November ballot only by being nominated as a democratic candidate from the floor at the Manhattan Democratic Judicial Convention on Thursday, September 22.
Justice for the Justice will only be served if the judicial delegates vote in the majority to support Justice Doris for reelection at the Convention. The rumors that the Manhattan Democratic Committee has reversed its decision of non-support are false.  Our fight continues.

There is absolutely no question that Justice Doris is qualified, competent and works hard in her position as an Associate Justice on the Appellate Term of the First Department.  Click here are a one-pager on Justice Doris’ credentials (Bio Ling-Cohan.pdf). Click here for a summary of her notable decisions (Noteworthy Decisions Ling-Cohan.pdf), which includes a groundbreaking 2005 decision in Hernandez v. Robles, which held that same-sex couples have a right to marry.

To defend her job and her honor, Justice Doris has consequently had to hire campaign staff and has been running a re-election campaign. There are two things you can do to help.   

Make a Donation:  Any amount is appreciated.  Please fill out the contribution form (Contribution Form Ling-Cohan.pdf) and send your check to: 

Re-Elect Justice Ling-Cohan c/o Lisa Kaplan52 East 1st Street #2A New York, NY 10003 (INCLUSION OF THE COMPLETED FORM IS VERY IMPORTANT)

Attend the Convention:  The Manhattan Democratic Judicial Convention will take place on Thursday September 22 beginning at 5:30pm at Harlem Hospital’s Herbert G. Cave Auditorium at 506 Malcolm X Boulevard.  The more of us who show up to show our support, the greater chance the delegates will be persuaded to put Judge Doris back on the ballot.   Please click here to RSVP.

For additional information contact Lily Fan at [email protected] or Eve Guillergan at [email protected]

Press Release: Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

September 2, 2016

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(212) 332-2478

Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan 

NEW YORK – September 2, 2016 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is disappointed by the New York County Democratic Committee Independent Judicial Screening Panel’s determination that Justice Doris Ling-Cohan does not merit continuation in office as a New York State Supreme Court Justice.  The panel’s decision to reject the candidacy of an incumbent judge in New York County is unprecedented and is particularly unexpected, given Justice Ling-Cohan’s record as a jurist and her stature as a trailblazer in the legal community. Justice Ling-Cohan—a founding Board Member of AABANY—was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the New York State Supreme Court and appointed to its Appellate Term.  She has contributed tirelessly to the bench and bar, championing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through her leadership and example.  In a bold step that garnered national attention, Justice Ling-Cohan authored the trial-level opinion in Hernandez v. Robles—a prescient ruling holding New York State’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional more than six years before the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act.   

“We are surprised by this development,” said AABANY President Susan Shin.  “Justice Ling-Cohan is a pillar in our community and a role model to generations of young lawyers.  While we respect the Manhattan Democratic Party’s panel process, we urge the party’s Judiciary Committee to adopt a procedure to afford Justice Ling-Cohan the opportunity to seek reconsideration of this most unusual outcome.”

If left undisturbed, the panel’s decision will deprive the Asian American community and New Yorkers of a diverse, courageous and influential voice on the Court. AABANY affirms its longstanding support for Justice Ling-Cohan and celebrates her many accomplishments in her distinguished career.  

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

Additional information about AABANY is available at

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(NY, NY) The Joint Minority Bar Association Judicial Screening Panel recently interviewed and rated judicial candidates for the Civil Court of the City of New York and the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Interviews were conducted by representatives of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, Dominican Bar Association, LGBT Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Puerto Rican Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

The Committee convened to determine whether candidates were qualified for the judicial office using a three-tiered rating system of “qualified,” “well qualified,” and "exceptionally well qualified."  A candidate was rated “Qualified” if the candidate satisfied the basic criteria to be considered a viable candidate for the judicial position sought. A rating of “Well Qualified” was given if the candidate met the basic criteria and demonstrated a level of skill, experience, sound judgment, and excellence in his or her professional career, which would sustain or improve the quality of the bench or judicial position sought. An “Exceptionally Well Qualified” rating reflects that the candidate has fulfilled the requirements necessary for a “Well Qualified” rating and demonstrated outstanding accomplishments. The ratings were decided during a closed-door vote after review of the each candidate’s background, professional ability, experience, character, judicial temperament, and other pertinent qualities. The Panel’s findings were as follows:

New York Supreme Court – Bronx County
Hon. Larry S. Schachner – Exceptionally Well Qualified

New York Supreme Court – Kings County
Hon. Desmond A. Green – Exceptionally Well Qualified

New York Supreme Court – New York County
Hon. Peter H. Moulton – Exceptionally Well Qualified

Judge of the Civil Court, 1st Municipal District, Bronx County
Lucianna Locorotondo – Well Qualified
Armando Montano – Well Qualified

Judge of the Civil Court, Kings County
Hon. ShawnDya L. Simpson – Exceptionally Well Qualified

Judge of the Civil Court, New York County
Dakota Ramseur – Well Qualified

Judge of the Civil Court, 2nd Municipal Disctrict, New York County
Hon. Kathryn E. Freed – Exceptionally Well Qualified
Hon. Marcy S. Friedman – Exceptionally Well Qualified
Adam Silvera – Well Qualified

For more information contact R. Nadine Fontaine at [email protected].

NYLJ: Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary

NYLJ: Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary

Press Release: Joint Minority Bar Judicial Screening Panel

Press Release: Joint Minority Bar Judicial Screening Panel